Friday, October 16, 2009

Cheltenham on Saturday

Zeturf sponsor the feature handicap chase at Cheltenham tomorrow run over two and a half miles with another hundred yards thrown in at the end just for good measure. War Of The World, formerly with Mouse Morris over in Ireland, has been in good form over the summer and is bound to be popular, as is Poquelin, although the furthest this one has tried to date is two miles one furlong - I wouldn't take it for granted he'll stay. This looks trappy - if I get involved I'll have a small each-way interest in David Pipe's Star Of Germany who will appreciate the going and won the listed Lord Mildmay Memorial at Newton Abbot in August. I'm ignoring his latest effort in the Kerry National where the three mile trip and yielding ground probably didn't play to his strengths; he has his share of weight here.

According to the market, the novice chase at 3.50 is between the Alan King trained King Troy and Paul Nicholls' Just Amazing. The former has already beaten the latter at levels but only by a neck, while the official handicapper rates King Troy just two pounds higher than his rival. It looks close on paper. King Troy didn't jump well at Market Rasen the last time but in a recent RP stable tour the handler implied that his charge had got to the front too soon. He's trying three miles here for the first time - the trainer thinks he'll get the trip. For the record Just Amazing has won over two miles seven furlongs at Stratford. In my book King Troy's fourth in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen is the best form on offer and as his price is likely to be slightly bigger, I'll opt for King Troy - the winner has come from the front two in the market on eight occasions in the last ten years. Twiston-Davies' Diablo would have been of some interest for each-way betting purposes had eight runners faced the starter.

The opener looks interesting with the return of the Triumph Hurdle fourth Starluck. He was carrying my money that day last March and was travelling on the bit two from home but the infamous Cheltenham hill found him out. Bearing that in mind, I'm not in a rush to take short odds on his seasonal debut. Silk Hall starts here and then is likely to step up to two and a half miles while stablemate Saticon was something of an enigma last year. Classic Swain is the not most fluent of jumpers and was beaten four lengths by James De Vassy at Chepstow seven days ago while Evan Williams' Simarian faces a tough task giving these opponents eight pounds. Fascinating stuff - the King stable has won the last two renewals with Katchit and Squadron, so I'll chance Silk Hall this time.

Emma Lavelle's Kangaroo Court will be expected to take the 5 o'clock but he'll be no price while in the concluding bumper I'll watch Fiveways closely. From a yard that has been in excellent form during the summer months (over 26% winners so far this season), he did me a favour at Bangor last time. This looks much tougher though as, together with Start Me Up, he carries top weight; Mr J Tudor helps the cause by taking off five pounds. Of Miss Overdrive in this race Alan King says: 'Having clearly done very well over the summer, I have to say her work has improved quite dramatically.' Say no more.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Star Of Germany (12/1) ran in snatches, coming on and off the bridle and losing his position as they raced passed the stands on the first occasion. He made some headway down the back straight but couldn't get competitive as the front-runners set a fair pace. Weakening at the second last, he appeared to cock his jaw and looked rather awkward before fading to finish ninth; Poquelin (9/2jf) collected the spoils.
King Troy (7/2) was a close second behind Just Amazing (2/1f) when falling at the second last; would he have gone on to win? We'll never know. I was surprised by the starting prices - you could have backed both and still shown a profit.
My reservations about Starluck were made to look rather ridiculous as the 5/6 favourite won with ridiculous ease. At the back of my mind I just wondered whether he was a horse that showed his best on a flat track but his class shone through here, winning as he liked. Silk Hall was sent off a 6/1 chance - much bigger than I'd expected; he was unable to go with them when the tempo quickened three out, finishing fourth of the five runners. A good word for Simarian (11/1) - I'm sure Evan Williams will be delighted with third, three and a quarter lengths behind the winner and Classic Swain, giving both eight pounds.
Another surprise in that Kangaroo Court was allowed to go off at even money - he won by four lengths from Red Admiral.
A decent effort too from Fiveways (7/1) who finished second behind the Charlie Swann trained Start Me Up (7/2). Miss Overdrive (11/4f) was outpaced three out but stayed on to take fourth.